Disney has lately been remaking all of their old animated classics into live-action films. The last few remakes have mostly been recreations of the animated movies with very little variation. This time, however, the film promises to be different. Mulan, which is a live-action adaptation of the 1998 animated film, doesn’t appear to be similar to the previous Disney film at all.
The 2020 Mulan film seems to go back to its roots to the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, which the animated film itself was inspired by. According to the legend, Hua Mulan is a female warrior who disguises herself as a man and takes her elderly father’s place in the army, fighting for twelve years before retiring to her hometown. From what we’ve seen in the trailers, it doesn’t seem like this film will be a musical like the original film either but rather seems to be remade in ‘wuxia’ style. Wuxia is a Chinese genre that revolves around martial artists, which you already may have seen in movies like Ang Lee‘s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and even Kung Fu Panda.
This change in genre also means that many familiar elements of the animated Mulan film likely won’t be present in the remake such as the dragon Mushu. The iconic songs are reportedly not in the film either but their instrumental versions may appear in the score.
Mulan is directed by Niki Caro, whose previous film was The Zookeeper’s Wife in 2017. The film stars Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei as the lead, alongside Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Gong Li, and Jet Li in supporting roles.
Mulan was scheduled to release on March 27, 2020. However, due to the unprecedented pandemic, we now have news that Mulan will skip its theatrical run in most places and premiere on Disney+ Hotstar on September 4. However, the catch is that the viewer will have to pay an additional cost to their existing subscription to view this movie. Walt Disney Co. further mentioned that they will release Mulan in theatres in the areas where Disney+ Hotstar is not available.